How to Load a Vaporizer
So, you're thinking about buying a vaporizer? Newcomers are often confused on how these devices work, simply because vaporizers differ from traditional consumption methods. Rather than placing your herb into a pipe and igniting with a lighter or match, you place the herb into a holding chamber where it's exposed to heat; thus, creating the mist-like vapor. But how exactly do you load a vaporizer?
Loading Varies Depending on the Vaporizer
Let me first start off by saying that the method for loading a vaporizer varies depending on the vaporizer. The Iolite Original Vaporizer pictured to the right, for instance, has a 500mg "herb chamber" that's found directly below the mouthpiece. Once opened, you can fill the chamber with herb, turn on the heating element, and enjoy your vapor. It's just that easy.
The highly popular Volcano Vaporizer, on the other hand, has an herb chamber resting between the heating element and balloon. Due to its exceptionally large size, you can fit more herb into the Volcano than you can with a traditional vaporizer. This is one of the many reasons why so many people prefer the Volcano over other vaporizers.
If you are using a pen vaporizer, the herb chamber will likely be found within the pen itself. Some pen vaporizers have removeable mouthpieces which provide access to the herb chamber. You simply remove the mouthpiece, place your ground-up herb inside, and then you are free to vape.
Grind Your Herb Before Vaping
Regardless of which vaporizer you intend on using, be sure to grind your herb into a fine, dust-like consistency before placing it in the chamber. Failure to grind your herb beforehand will result in uneven temperatures -- and it may even cause some of your herb to burn (never a good thing). I recommend using a 4-piece grinder to really break apart your herb, turning it into small, fine particles that are easy to vape.
Not Too Much, But Not Too Little...
When loading herb into your vaporizer, it's important that you use the right amount. Overloading the chamber with too much herb will result in lower temperatures, which in turn can make it difficult to produce a solid vapor. On the other hand, using too little herb may cause your herb to burn. So, how much herb should you use in your vaporizer? Again, it really depends on the type of vaporizer and the size of its chamber. A good rule of thumb to follow, however, is to fill the chamber 70-80% full. This seems to work well for most vaporizers, as it still leaves enough room for air to travel through while exposing plenty of herb to the heating element.